Embassy Row is the informal name for the section of Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. between Scott Circle and the North side of the United States Naval Observatory, in which embassies, diplomatic missions, and other diplomatic representations are concentrated. By extension, the name may be used to encompass nearby streets which also host diplomatic buildings.
Considered Washington's premier residential address in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Massachusetts Avenue became known for its numerous mansions housing the city's social and political elites. The segment between Scott Circle and Sheridan Circle gained the nickname "Millionaires' Row".
The Great Depression caused many to sell their homes. The expansive old estates proved well-suited for use as embassies, and also as lodges of social clubs, giving Embassy Row its present name and identity. Some of the avenue's newer buildings were purpose-designed as embassies, starting with the British Embassy, designed in 1928 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and the Japanese Embassy, built in 1931.
On the southeastern section of the row, between Scott Circle and Dupont Circle, many mansions were replaced by larger office or apartment buildings between the 1930s and the 1970s. More recently, several prominent think tanks have clustered in that area.
Many of Embassy Row's diplomatic buildings open to the public once a year in May, an initiative nicknamed Passport DC. This event was started in 2007 by the embassies of member states of the European Union, and extended in 2008 to other countries around the world under coordination by Cultural Tourism DC. Within this program, the EU embassies still open on a separate day, labelled EU Open House. A separate program, the Embassy Series, started in 1994 and coordinates concerts organized in the embassy buildings.
Embassy Row is protected as the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District, created in 1974 following controversy about the demolition of historic townhouses on 1722-28 Massachusetts Ave NW. Many of its notable buildings are listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites.
From Scott Circle to Sheridan Circle
This section of Massachusetts Avenue was the one known as the "Millionaires' Row" of Washington DC in the late 19th and early 20th century.
- 1500 Rhode Island Ave NW: Brodhead-Bell-Morton Mansion, now the National Paints and Coatings Association (arch. John Fraser, 1879; remodeled by John Russell Pope, 1912)
- 1 Scott Circle NW: General Scott Apartments (arch. Robert O. Sholz, 1942) 
- 1601 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Australia (arch. Bates, Smart & McCutcheon, 1965)
- 1617 Massachusetts Ave NW: Daniel C. Stapleton House (arch. Clarke Waggaman, 1917), now consular section of the Embassy of the Philippines
- 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW: Forest Industries building (arch. Keyes, Lesbridge & Condon, 1961), now Benjamin T. Rome Building of the Johns Hopkins University
- 1625 Massachusetts Ave NW: Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Washington Campus
- 1701 Massachusetts Ave NW: The Bay State apartment building (arch. Robert O. Sholz, 1939) 
- 1711 Massachusetts Ave NW: Boston House apartment building (arch. Berla & Abel, 1950) 
- 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW: Bernstein-Offit building of Johns Hopkins University, formerly embassy of the German Democratic Republic (1964)
- 1727 Massachusetts Ave NW: The Winthrop apartment building (arch. Alvin L. Aubinoe, 1940) 
- 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW: Brookings Institution main building (arch. Faulkner, Kingsbury & Stenhouse, 1960)
- 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (arch. Smith, Hinchman & Gryll, 1989), also hosting the Embassy of Papua New Guinea
- 1785 Massachusetts Ave NW: McCormick Apartments (arch. Jules Henri de Sibour, 1917), now American Enterprise Institute
- 1801 Massachusetts Ave NW: Herbert Wadsworth House (arch. George Cary, 1902), now the Sulgrave Club
- 15 Dupont Circle NW: Robert W. Patterson House (arch. Stanford White, 1902)
- 1500 New Hampshire Ave NW: Dupont Circle Hotel (1950)
- 1913 Massachusetts Ave NW: Riggs Bank (now PNC) Dupont Circle Branch (1923), on the former site of "Stewart's Castle" (arch. Adolf Cluss, 1873), which hosted the Chinese Legation from 1886 to 1893 
- 2001 Massachusetts Ave NW: Hungarian Reformed Federation of America (Kossuth House)
- 2007 Massachusetts Ave NW: Horace A. Taylor House (arch. Jules Henri de Sibour, 1901)
- 2009 Massachusetts Ave NW: Hershell Main House, later Alice Roosevelt Longworth house (built 1881, front rebuilt 1910), now the Washington Legal Foundation
- 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy Row Hotel (1970)
- 2025 Massachusetts Ave NW: Samuel M. Bryan House (arch. W. Bruce Gray, 1885), now the Urban Alliance Foundation
- 2027 Massachusetts Ave NW: House (1911), now the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism 
- 1600 21st Street NW: D. Clinch Phillips House (arch. Hornblower & Marshall, 1897), now the Phillips Collection
- 2107 Massachusetts Ave NW: T. Morris Murray House (1901), now Embassy of India
- 2121 Massachusetts Ave NW: Richard T. Townsend House (arch. Carrère and Hastings, 1901), now the Cosmos Club
- 2131 Massachusetts Ave NW: George W. Barrie House (arch. Marsh & Peter, 1905), now Embassy of Estonia
- 2201 Massachusetts Ave NW: Frederick A. Miller House (arch. Paul J. Pelz, 1901)
- 2205 Massachusetts Ave NW: townhouse (arch. Waddy Wood, 1920), now the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists
- 2207 Massachusetts Ave NW: townhouse (arch. Louis D. Meline, 1902), now Embassy of Turkmenistan
- 2209 Massachusetts Ave NW: townhouse (1911), now Embassy of Georgia
- 2221 Massachusetts Ave NW: Hennen Jennings House (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1906), now Embassy of Greece
- 1515 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Tunisia
- 1600 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of the Philippines (1993)
- 1700 Massachusetts Ave NW: Emily J. Wilkins House (arch. Jules Henri de Sibour, 1909), now Embassy of Peru
- 1708 Massachusetts Ave NW: Henry C. Nevins House (1892), now Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago
- 1720 Massachusetts Ave NW: Stephanie Tubbs Jones building, home of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
- 1724 Massachusetts Ave NW: American Legacy Foundation (1981)
- 1732 Massachusetts Ave NW: J.C. McGuire House (1889), now Embassy of Chile
- 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW: Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (1962)
- 1746 Massachusetts Ave NW: Clarence Moore House (arch. Jules Henri de Sibour, 1909), now Embassy of Uzbekistan
- 1750 Massachusetts Ave NW: Peterson Institute for International Economics (arch. Kohn Pedersen Fox, 2001)
- 1776 Massachusetts Ave NW: office building (1969), home of the Center for Global Development among others
- 1780 Massachusetts Ave NW: Ingalls House (arch. Jules Henri de Sibour, 1922), now office of the President of the Brookings Institution
- 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW: office building (1979), now the Service Employees International Union
- 1369 Connecticut Ave NW: U.S. Trust Company building (arch. Jules Henri de Sibour, 1912), now SunTrust branch 
- 1350 Connecticut Ave NW: Dupont Circle Building (arch. Mihran Mesrobian, 1931)
- 21 Dupont Circle: Euram Building (arch. Hartman-Cox, 1972) 
- 2000 Massachusetts Ave NW: James G. Blaine Mansion (arch. George Fraser, 1881)
- 2012 Massachusetts Ave NW: Joseph Beale House (arch. Glenn Brown, 1897), now Embassy of Portugal
- 2020 Massachusetts Ave NW: Walsh-McLean House (arch. Henry Andersen, 1903), now Embassy of Indonesia
- 2100 Massachusetts Ave NW: Fairfax Hotel (arch. B. Stanley Simmons, 1927)
- 2118 Massachusetts Ave NW: Larz Anderson House (arch. Arthur Little & Herbert W. C. Browne, 1905), now Society of the Cincinnati
- 2122 Massachusetts Ave NW: State House apartment building (1951)
- 2202 Massachusetts Ave NW: office of the Defense Attaché of the Embassy of Turkey
- 2208 Massachusetts Ave NW: townhouse (arch. Louis D. Meline, 1900), now Embassy of Togo
- 2210 Massachusetts Ave NW: townhouse (arch. Louis D. Meline, 1901), now Embassy of Sudan
- 2220 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of the Bahamas
- 2228 Massachusetts Ave NW: Defense and Military Attaché of the Embassy of Greece
- 2230 Massachusetts Ave NW: James C. Hooe House (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1907)
- 2232 Massachusetts Ave NW: Economic and Commercial Bureau of the Embassy of Egypt
- 2234 Massachusetts Ave NW: Henrietta Halliday House (arch. William Penn Cresson), 1908), now Embassy of Ireland
- 1607 23rd St NW: Frank Ellis House (arch. Carrère and Hastings, 1907), now Embassy of Romania
From Sheridan Circle to Observatory Circle
- 2223 Massachusetts Ave NW: American Society of International Law
- 2249 R St NW: Peyton Russell House (arch. Nathan C. Wyeth, 1908), now Embassy of Kenya
- 2251 R St NW: Residence of the Ambassador of Vietnam
- 2253 R St NW: Charles L. Fitzhugh House (arch. Waddy Wood, 1904), now residence of the Ambassador of the Philippines
- 2301 Massachusetts Ave NW: Joseph Beale House (arch. Glenn Brown, 1909), now residence of the Ambassador of Egypt
- 2305 Massachusetts Ave NW: Sarah S. Wyeth House (arch. Nathan C. Wyeth, 1909), now residence of the Ambassador of Chile
- 2311 Massachusetts Ave NW: Gibson Fahnestock House (arch. Nathan C. Wyeth, 1910), now Embassy of Haiti
- 2315 Massachusetts Ave NW: Francis B. Moran House (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1908), formerly embassy of Pakistan
- 2339 Massachusetts Ave NW: Wendell Mansions apartment building (arch. Edward H. Glidden Jr., 1906)
- 2343 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Croatia
- 2349 Massachusetts Ave NW: Christian Hauge House (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1906), now Embassy of Cameroon
- 2401 Massachusetts Ave NW: Malaysian Embassy Building (1969), now Embassy of Chad
- 2419 Massachusetts Ave NW: Louis Arthur Coolidge House (arch. Mews, Wyeth & Cresson, 1906), now Embassy of Zambia
- 2433 Massachusetts Ave NW: Harry Wardman House (arch. Mihran Mesrobian, 1934), now Embassy of the Marshall Islands 
- 2443 Massachusetts Ave NW: Residence of the Ambassador of Venezuela (arch. Chester A. Patterson, 1939)
- 2511 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Lesotho
- 2525 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Turkey (arch. Shalom Baranes Associates, 1999)
- 2535 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Belize
- 2551 Massachusetts Ave NW: Islamic Center of Washington (arch. Mario Rossi, 1957)
- 2929 Massachusetts Ave NW: Maie H. Williams House (arch. Clarke Waggaman, 1918) 
- 3003 Massachusetts Ave NW: Alanson B. Houghton House (arch. Frederick H. Brooke, 1935), former residence of the Ambassador of Iran 
- 3005 Massachusetts Ave NW: former Embassy of Iran (1959)
- 3051 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of South Africa (1936, expanded 1964)
- 3301 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Finland (arch. Mikko Heikkinen and Markku Komonen, 1994)
- 3339 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of the Holy See (arch. Frederick V. Murphy, 1938)
- 3401 Massachusetts Ave NW: Residence of the Ambassador of Norway (arch. John J. Whelan, 1931)
- 3415 Massachusetts Ave NW: Joseph W. Babcock House (arch. Arthur B. Heaton, 1912), now Embassy of Cape Verde and Embassy of Timor-Leste
- 3421 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Iraq
- 1606 23rd St NW: Edward H. Everett House (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1914), now residence of the Ambassador of Turkey
- 2306 Massachusetts Ave NW: Alice Pike Barney House (arch. Waddy Wood, 1902), now Embassy of Latvia
- 2320 Massachusetts Ave NW: Consular section of the Embassy of South Korea
- 2324 Massachusetts Ave NW: Residence of the Ambassador of Costa Rica
- 2340 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Burkina Faso
- 2360 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Kyrgyzstan
- 2370 Massachusetts Ave NW: Alice W.B. Stanley House (arch. Smith & Edwards, 1930), now Korean Cultural Center
- 2374 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Madagascar
- 2400 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Paraguay
- 2408 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Malawi
- 2424 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Cote d'Ivoire
- 2432 Massachusetts Ave NW: Residence of the Ambassador of Algeria
- 2440 Massachusetts Ave NW: Charles Mason Remey House (arch. Smith & Edwards, ca. 1930), now Permanent mission of Mexico to the OAS
- 2450 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of South Korea
- 2520 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Japan (arch. Delano & Aldrich, 1931)
- 2536 Massachusetts Ave NW: Chancery Annex of the Embassy of India
- 2558 Massachusetts Ave NW: Spanish Mission to the Organization of American States
- 3000 Whitehaven St NW: Embassy of Italy (arch. Piero Sartogo, 2000)
- 3000 Massachusetts Ave NW: Robert S. McCormick House (arch. John Russell Pope, 1928), now residence of the Ambassador of Brazil
- 3006 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Brazil (arch. Olavo Redig de Campos, 1971)
- 3014 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of Bolivia
- 3100 Massachusetts Ave NW: Embassy of the United Kingdom (arch. Edwin Lutyens, 1931)
- 3450 Massachusetts Ave NW: United States Naval Observatory
The monumental setting of the Row has favored the erection of many memorials and statues. They are erected either on private grounds, many of them by the embassies to showcase a prominent national figure, or on public (federal) land following an Act of Congress, including the successive Circles and several triangular parks created by the intersections between the diagonal avenue and the L'Enfant Plan grid. A special case is the statue of Winston Churchill, which has one foot on the grounds of the British Embassy and the other on federal land to symbolize the UK-US alliance.
- the equestrian statue of Winfield Scott, by Henry Kirke Brown (1874)
- the Daniel Webster Memorial, by Gaetano Trentanove (1900)
- a modern bust of Miguel Grau in front of the Embassy of Peru (2011)
- a bust of Bernardo O'Higgins by Galvarino Ponce Morel, in front of the Embassy of Chile (2009)
- the Dupont Circle Fountain, by Daniel Chester French (1920)
- a statue of Hindu goddess Saraswati by a Balinese sculpting team, on the grounds of the Indonesian Embassy, with a group of three children including a young Barack Obama in front (2013) 
- the statue of Gandhi by Gautam Pal, in front of the Indian Embassy (2000)
- a bronze cast of George Washington by Jean-Antoine Houdon, in front of the Society of the Cincinnati (2008)
- the statue of Tomas Masaryk, by Vincenc Makovský (1937, cast 1968, erected 2002)
- a copy of the 1971 bronze statue of Eleftherios Venizelos by Yannis Pappas, now in Freedom Park in Athens, erected in front of the Greek Embassy (2009)
- the statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk by Jeffery L. Hall, in front of the Turkish Ambassador's residence (2013) 
- General Philip Sheridan, by Gutzon Borglum (1908)
- the statue of Philip Jaisohn in front of the South Korean Consular Section (2008)
- the statue of St Jerome by Ivan Meštrović, in front of the Croatian Embassy (1954, relocated ca. 1998)
- the statue of Robert Emmet, by Jerome Connor (1916, relocated 1966)
- another statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, this one in front of the Turkish Embassy (1999)
- the statue of Winston Churchill by William McVey, in front of the British Embassy (1966)
- the statue of Nelson Mandela by Jean Doyle, in front of the South African Embassy (2013) 
- the monument to Khalil Gibran, by Gordon S. Kray (1991)
- the statue of Crown Princess Martha Louise of Norway by Kirsten Kokkin, in front of the Norwegian Embassy (2005)
Other embassies in Washington DC
In the immediate vicinity of Embassy Row, many other embassies and diplomatic residences are located within one or two blocks of Massachusetts Avenue on cross streets, particularly R, S, and 22nd Streets NW near Sheridan Circle, and in the Kalorama neighborhood north of Embassy Row. The section of New Hampshire Avenue NW north of Dupont Circle alone is home to the embassies of Argentina, Belarus, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Grenada, Jamaica, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
In the early days of Washington DC, most diplomats and ambassadors lived on or around Lafayette Square. The first purpose-designed embassy building in Washington was the embassy of the United Kingdom on 1300 Connecticut Avenue, immediately south of Embassy Row, built in 1872 by Sir Edward Thornton on John Fraser's design, and demolished in 1931. Thornton's choice of location, at a time when Dupont Circle was still almost entirely undeveloped, may be considered the origin of Embassy Row as a diplomatic neighborhood.
However, in the early 20th Century, several European legations gathered farther North-East, on a section of 16th Street near Meridian Hill Park. This area was specifically developed by Mary Foote Henderson to attract embassies, but was severely hit by the Great Depression, and Embassy Row and Kalorama then became comparatively more attractive locations for diplomats. Former embassy buildings there include those of France (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1907, now the Council for Professional Recognition); Italy (arch. Warren and Wetmore, 1925, under redevelopment as a luxury apartment building); and Spain (arch. George Oakley Totten, Jr., 1923, now the Spain-USA Foundation). The embassies of Ecuador, Lithuania, and Poland are still located in the Meridian Hill neighborhood, as well as the Cuban Interests Section and the Consulate General of Mexico. A bit further up 16th Street, the Embassy Building No. 10, built in the late 1920s, never actually served as an embassy despite being designed as one.
A high-security enclave one mile north of the Naval Observatory, on the federally-owned former grounds of the National Bureau of Standards in Cleveland Park, was developed from 1968 as the International Chancery Center. It is home to the embassies of Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Monaco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovakia, and the United Arab Emirates.
A number of other embassies are scattered south of Massachusetts Avenue and closer to the National Mall, notably those of Canada, Mexico, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. Still others are located in or around Georgetown, such as those of France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela. The Caribbean Chancery on 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW hosts the embassies of five English-speaking Caribbean nations.
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- Mike Ghouse (June 19, 2013). "Goddess Saraswati Statue With Barack Obama Symbolizes Relationship Between Indonesia and the U.S.". HuffingtonPost.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Embassy Row, Washington, D.C..|
- United States Department of the Treasury: List of addresses of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S., — maintained for the International Trade Data System initiative.